Thursday, September 29, 2011


Another day, another post. I'm entertained! Are you? I hope so.

Oh, and the very prolific Joshua the Anarchist has a blog you should check out: He's been a big supporter of Trenchcoat projects, and none of the Formspring entries from this last week would be here without his questions.

JOSHUATHEANARCHIST asked: In your opinion, who's the most under-rated actor?

My first instinct would be Bruce Campbell.

Through Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness he became a massive cult icon. Since then, though, he’s been restricted to television, b-movies, and cameos. The problem with Campbell is that he’s neither starred in any truly good movies since Army nor has he, and here’s the big kicker, really stood out in the non-Ash roles he’s had. Voice acting excluded, I’ve never seen past BRUCE CAMPBELL in the role.

It really leads me to believe that I don’t want to see Bruce Campbell in more on-screen roles, I want to see Bruce Campbell as Ash as directed by Sam Raimi in more on-screen roles.

And I might’ve gone for Kristen Stewart for her underplayed role as Bella but despite massive amount of hate she’s received, it’s hard to call Kristen Stewart under-appreciated with the career she’s having.

Eh, screw it; These are the actors I want to see more of:
-Fred Ward because he’s basically Charles Bronson with a sense of humor.
-Paul Sorvino because he’s god-damned Paul Sorvino.
-Ted Raimi because it makes me smile just to look at him.
-Any actor who’s ever played ‘Q’ because whether Trek or Bond I can’t think of any actor in a ‘Q’ role ever being less than awesome.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Ever cry after waking up? Is that residual sadness from having left a happy place? Is it a little of your soul leaking out of your eyes? Or am I just grasping at straws here a bit?

Yeah, probably that last one.

Here's Josh again with the third of the four questions he asked.

JOSHUATHEANARCHIST asked - What movie made you cry the hardest?
I get emotionally invested in some of the weirdest films. Motion pictures that would be greeted with dismissal or scorn by the majority of my peers will sometimes tug at my heartstrings. 'Freddy Got Fingered' I can least account for.

Forget "You had me at 'Hello'.", I actually got a lump in my throat over "All I want to do is suck your cock!". Ironic, of course, because that particular scene was intended as mockery of those types of moments.

Hey, I didn't say I could explain it.

But as far as the most emotionally devastating, I’ll have to go with a documentary by the name of 'Dear Zachary: A Letter to a son About his Father'.

'Dear Zachary' is set up as a video account to the son about his father who was killed before Zachary was born. Here’s the kicker, though; the prime suspect in the murder is the man’s fiance. Worse still, the man’s parents are put in the position of having to keep a civil relationship with the woman who most likely killed their only son in order to have a presence in their grandchild’s life.

It’s a documentary with no pretense of objectivity; the film is by a childhood friend of the victim who used the process of making the film to work through his grief. Despite that, the final impression is one of optimism.

So yeah... my knees nearly buckled out from under me while watching this film.

Oh, and unlike 'Freddy Got Fingered', this is a film I'd actually recommend. Highly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, the continuing misappropriation of the Formspring medium as an excuse to write impromptu articles about subjects which already interest me! Trust me, it's not as pretentious as it sounds.

What is your dream crossover?

Crossovers are hard to do right even assuming the right intellectual properties. There have been some brilliant examples of successful crossovers to be sure, but it’s always a balancing act. So first let's look at three examples of crossovers which I consider to be successful and why they work.

Because of the significance of these respective franchises and their respective roles in 1980’s Slasher-Horror, it seems like a no-brainer to do a cross-over between these two characters, but this was a project that languished for over a decade in development hell. The biggest challenge, of course, was how in the holy f*ck do you get an undead mindless killing machine and a non-physical child killer together in the same movie... and make it feel like a natural addition to both series?!

The solution was quite eloquent: symmetry through fear imagery. Freddy’s afraid of fire, the writers figure, because he burned to death. Jason of water. After that they simply structured the film around three fights between Freddy and Jason (one in the dream realm, one with Freddy possessing someone, and the final with Freddy manifested in the real world). Suddenly they had a solid little movie that worked as a gloriously sleazy tribute to both franchises.

Sigmund Freud meets Sherlock Holmes. The idea is so ludicrously awesome. It shouldn’t gel together, but it does. Again the question; how can these two seemingly contradictive powerhouses of deductive reasoning, one of criminology and one of the mind, be placed into the same world?

The crazy glue that joined these two was cocaine. The increasingly neurotic and paranoid master detective was addicted. Unlike today, Cocaine in the late 1800s was thought of as no more harmful than Asprin and there actually are references in the Doyle stories of Mr. Holmes indulging in the substance. For the purposes of the story Freud opposed the drug and comes to treat Holmes in the story.

And it wouldn’t be a proper Sherlock Holmes yarn without a mystery; that mystery becomes a part of the good doctor’s treatment.

As a side note; the author also has writing credits on Star Trek II and VI, considered the best of the film series and my personal favourites as well.

And finally a fan-made film from a few years ago which features a crossover between Batman and the Predator franchise (with touches of Alien thrown in for good measure). This time there’s little attempt to give story to bridge the two characters and franchises (Why are there Xenomorphs in Gotham? How did they get there?); the film just faces Batman against a Predator. This approach can only work in a short film, but it absolutely works.

Going into it further, Predators have been characterized as being a warlike race which respected the strength of a warrior above all else. Batman certainly fits that warrior bill, so I guess even in something like this there needs to be some kind of logical connection underlying the crossover.

The tone, the story, the worlds and continuities need to be able to mesh cleanly as well. The narrative after all needs to feel like the perfect balance between the two universes. David Suzuki and Jane Goodall would work more cleanly in a fictionalized story more cleanly for this reason than Tarzan and John Lennon.

But enough stalling; my ideal crossover would be Hannibal the Cannibal and Austin Powers!

...Well, it's better than 'Sherlock Holmes meets Jurassic Park'.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Hey all! Trenchie here again with something different. I'll be re-posting the better responses from my Formspring account here. The goal is to post a new response every couple of days. Let me know what you think!

JOSHUATHEANARCHIST asked - What's your favorite space opera?
That's a very narrow genre with not a lot of entries to draw from. Less than that even as I'd contest many of those labeled as such. Even Star Trek doesn't really fit until some of the later series. And the reverse is true of Star Wars' later-day Prequel Trilogy, which it could be argued are closer to Political Thrillers than Space Operas.

But even then, there's some excellent examples to be found. I'll freely admit to a soft spot for Titan A.E., and both Wrath of Kahn and Undiscovered Country are damn good movies by any standard.

In the end though, I'm going to have to come back to Star Wars. It's easy to forget in the current climate of Lucas-hate just how much the original film and the two which followed changed the cinematic game. The editing choice in New Hope to craft around the rhythm of the story rather than to match pace with the actors' performances is a style which still informs editing choices on modern spectacle pieces. The sound design by Ben Burtt pushed the idea that sound should be as important as the visuals (not the first and not the only, but absolutely among the movement's key players). John Williams' score set a precedent still followed today. The special effects and merchandising too changed their respective disciplines.

In a very real way modern American moviemaking as we recognize it started with Star Wars. Watching with an eye to all that, it's absolutely breathtaking to see the mastery of craft present in those films.

I can't honestly say the same about any other Space Opera.